A theoretical proposal for a perceptually driven, food-based, disgust that can influence food acceptance during early childhood

Steven D. Brown, Gillian Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Disgust, the “revulsion at the prospect of (oral) incorporation of an offensive substance”, is not thought to influence the acceptability of food during infancy and early childhood. This is because the feelings of disgust require a person to have developed an understanding of contagion and to be aware of the nature and origin of a given disgust stimulus, which does not occur until around seven years of age. Despite this need for higher cognitive functioning, studies have demonstrated the potential for disgust in children as young as two years of age. Furthermore, it seems that young children can demonstrate aspects of disgust without having the cognitive understanding of contagion. This review is the first paper to demonstrate how core disgust may influence the acceptability of foods from late infancy. Firstly, food neophobia may act as a catalyst for disgust. Secondly, that disgust in young children can result from the visual perceptual features of food (as opposed to a cognitive response based on non-food disgust stimuli). Thirdly, that some disliked foods have contaminating properties, much like non-food, adult disgust stimuli (e.g. insects). Fourthly, that the response reduces as the child ages and learns more about food and its variability between presentations. Finally, individual differences exist to explain why an individual child may be more or less likely to respond to a given food with a disgust response. This proposal adds to the current debate relating to the motivations of ‘picky’ eating during early childhood and introduces an alternative to the proposal that these behaviours are the result of a child’s desire for autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Child Health and Nutrition
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Food
Individuality
Insects
Motivation
Emotions
Eating

Keywords

  • disgust
  • infant/child eating behaviours
  • food neophobia
  • contagion
  • picky eating

Cite this

A theoretical proposal for a perceptually driven, food-based, disgust that can influence food acceptance during early childhood. / Brown, Steven D.; Harris, Gillian.

In: International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1be4aa2967ad47f9950623cfe2d8aeb4,
title = "A theoretical proposal for a perceptually driven, food-based, disgust that can influence food acceptance during early childhood",
abstract = "Disgust, the “revulsion at the prospect of (oral) incorporation of an offensive substance”, is not thought to influence the acceptability of food during infancy and early childhood. This is because the feelings of disgust require a person to have developed an understanding of contagion and to be aware of the nature and origin of a given disgust stimulus, which does not occur until around seven years of age. Despite this need for higher cognitive functioning, studies have demonstrated the potential for disgust in children as young as two years of age. Furthermore, it seems that young children can demonstrate aspects of disgust without having the cognitive understanding of contagion. This review is the first paper to demonstrate how core disgust may influence the acceptability of foods from late infancy. Firstly, food neophobia may act as a catalyst for disgust. Secondly, that disgust in young children can result from the visual perceptual features of food (as opposed to a cognitive response based on non-food disgust stimuli). Thirdly, that some disliked foods have contaminating properties, much like non-food, adult disgust stimuli (e.g. insects). Fourthly, that the response reduces as the child ages and learns more about food and its variability between presentations. Finally, individual differences exist to explain why an individual child may be more or less likely to respond to a given food with a disgust response. This proposal adds to the current debate relating to the motivations of ‘picky’ eating during early childhood and introduces an alternative to the proposal that these behaviours are the result of a child’s desire for autonomy.",
keywords = "disgust, infant/child eating behaviours, food neophobia, contagion, picky eating",
author = "Brown, {Steven D.} and Gillian Harris",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.6000/1929-4247.2012.01.01.01",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
pages = "1--10",
journal = "International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition",
issn = "1929-4247",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A theoretical proposal for a perceptually driven, food-based, disgust that can influence food acceptance during early childhood

AU - Brown, Steven D.

AU - Harris, Gillian

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Disgust, the “revulsion at the prospect of (oral) incorporation of an offensive substance”, is not thought to influence the acceptability of food during infancy and early childhood. This is because the feelings of disgust require a person to have developed an understanding of contagion and to be aware of the nature and origin of a given disgust stimulus, which does not occur until around seven years of age. Despite this need for higher cognitive functioning, studies have demonstrated the potential for disgust in children as young as two years of age. Furthermore, it seems that young children can demonstrate aspects of disgust without having the cognitive understanding of contagion. This review is the first paper to demonstrate how core disgust may influence the acceptability of foods from late infancy. Firstly, food neophobia may act as a catalyst for disgust. Secondly, that disgust in young children can result from the visual perceptual features of food (as opposed to a cognitive response based on non-food disgust stimuli). Thirdly, that some disliked foods have contaminating properties, much like non-food, adult disgust stimuli (e.g. insects). Fourthly, that the response reduces as the child ages and learns more about food and its variability between presentations. Finally, individual differences exist to explain why an individual child may be more or less likely to respond to a given food with a disgust response. This proposal adds to the current debate relating to the motivations of ‘picky’ eating during early childhood and introduces an alternative to the proposal that these behaviours are the result of a child’s desire for autonomy.

AB - Disgust, the “revulsion at the prospect of (oral) incorporation of an offensive substance”, is not thought to influence the acceptability of food during infancy and early childhood. This is because the feelings of disgust require a person to have developed an understanding of contagion and to be aware of the nature and origin of a given disgust stimulus, which does not occur until around seven years of age. Despite this need for higher cognitive functioning, studies have demonstrated the potential for disgust in children as young as two years of age. Furthermore, it seems that young children can demonstrate aspects of disgust without having the cognitive understanding of contagion. This review is the first paper to demonstrate how core disgust may influence the acceptability of foods from late infancy. Firstly, food neophobia may act as a catalyst for disgust. Secondly, that disgust in young children can result from the visual perceptual features of food (as opposed to a cognitive response based on non-food disgust stimuli). Thirdly, that some disliked foods have contaminating properties, much like non-food, adult disgust stimuli (e.g. insects). Fourthly, that the response reduces as the child ages and learns more about food and its variability between presentations. Finally, individual differences exist to explain why an individual child may be more or less likely to respond to a given food with a disgust response. This proposal adds to the current debate relating to the motivations of ‘picky’ eating during early childhood and introduces an alternative to the proposal that these behaviours are the result of a child’s desire for autonomy.

KW - disgust

KW - infant/child eating behaviours

KW - food neophobia

KW - contagion

KW - picky eating

U2 - 10.6000/1929-4247.2012.01.01.01

DO - 10.6000/1929-4247.2012.01.01.01

M3 - Article

VL - 1

SP - 1

EP - 10

JO - International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition

JF - International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition

SN - 1929-4247

IS - 1

ER -